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6/10/2016 EmptyClosetsReligionandHomosexuality

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ReligionandHomosexualitybyTimC
ComingOutMenu
Introduction OvertheyearsI'vecometobelievethatmostofwhatwe'vebeentaughtaboutGodmissesthe
mark.Manyofthedoctrinalpositionsthataretaughtasgospeldon'tstanduptoclosescrutiny.As
ComingOutandStayingOut anInterfaithMinister,mypositiononhomosexualityisexactlythesameasitison
heterosexuality:sinhasnothingtodowithsexualorientationit'sallabouthurtingothers.
StagesofComingOut
Beinggayisnomoreofasinthanbeingstraight.HowcanIsaythatwithcertainty?Because
Parent/FamilyStagesofGrief beinggaydoesn'tautomaticallyhurtanyoneanymorethanbeingstraightdoes.Doesthatgivea
gaypersontherighttosleepwithmultiplepartnersinanirresponsibleway?No,especiallywith
BisexualityQ&A thecurrentdangersofdiseasebutnoevenwithoutthat.Hurtingothersselfishlytogetwhatyou
wantisalwayswrongit'salwaysasin.Infact,that'sthedefinitionofsin.
ReligionandHomosexuality

DealingwithCrushes
GodisLove
ResourcesHome
Thatsoundsgoodbutthere'salotmoretoGodthanthat,right?Idon'tthinkthereis.Loveis
activelycaringaboutotherscaringintherightway.It'sacombinationofgoodwill,genuine
RandomMembers kindness,honestforgiveness,trueacceptance,andofconstantlyhopingforapositiveoutcome.If
someonehurtsyou,it'sokaytowantjusticebutit'snotokaytofeelhatred.Toerrishuman,to
(Clickimagestoviewprofiles)
forgivedivine.Tosincerelyhopethatpeoplewillturnfromtheirwrongstogrowwiser,more
considerate,morefaithful,andbelesshurtingtoothersthat'sthewayofGod.Ithasnothingto
dowithhowoftenyougotochurch.Ithasnothingtodowiththespecificsofyourdoctrinalbeliefs.
Ithasnothingtodowithyoursexualorientation.

JohnLennon'swordswere,"LoveistheAnswerandyouknowthatforsure".Someofyouwhoare
readingthisarenoddingbecauseyoudoknowit.YouknowthatGodlovesyouregardlessofyour
beinggay.Youknowthatbeinggayhasnothingtodowiththecontentofyourcharacter.Youknow
SiennaFire whenyourconductistotallyselfishandwhenyou'redoingthingsfromacompassionateheart.God
Molly1977
isn'tinthereligionbusinesshe'sinthelovebusiness.

IfanyonereadingthisstillfearsthatGodisdisappointedthattheyaregaytrustmeGod
doesn'tcare.Godwantsyoutobehonestandhonorable.Shewantsyoutobebalancedand
responsible.Shewantsyoutolivethelifeyoutrulybelievetoberightforyouwithagenuine
commitmenttocaringaboutyourselfandothers.

Beinggayjustis.It'slikebeinglefthanded.Mostpeoplearerighthandedsowhat?Whywould
Emulator ForNarnia
thatmakethemmorallysuperior?IfGoddidn'twantyoutobegayhe'scertainlypowerful
enoughtopushyouawayfromthat.

Youareagrowing,experiencingindividualwhofindsiteasiertolove(romantically&sexually)
peopleofthesamesex.Thiswouldhurtnobodyiftheysimplytookitatfacevalue.Anyhurtthat
comesfromthatcomesfromalackofacceptance.Itcomesfromjudging.Itcomesfromabelief
thatit'smorallywrong.Butforittobemorallywrongitwouldneedtoinjuresomebody.Stealing
ismorallywrong.Butbeinggayjustis.

TheBible
It'squiteinterestingthatJesusneversaysasinglethinginthebibleabouthomosexuality.Buthe
hasplentytosayonthesubjectofjudgmentandforgiveness!Hetellsusthatasweforgive
others,soshallwebeforgiven.Andhetellsusthatwiththesamejudgmentwejudgeothers,so
tooshallwebejudged.Healsotalksaboutperfectingourselvesbeforewebeginpointingoutthe
faultsofothers.

It'struetherearebibleversesthatseemtocondemhomosexuality.Butakeyelementofgetting
themostfromthebibleistolookateverythingitsayswithanaccuratecontextofwhatitwas
reallytryingtosay.TheOldTestamentwaswrittenbeforeJesuswasborn.Itwaswrittenpriorto
hisbringinghisamazinggiftofGrace.MuchofwhattheOldTestamentsaysservesasahistory
itprovidesuswithacontextofhowthingswerepriortoJesus(pleasenotethatthisexplanationis
comingfromaChristianperspectiveIbelievethatotherreligiousperspectivesdeserveeverybit
asmuchrespect).

TheOldTestamentwaswritteninHebrew,alanguagewithveryfewwordsandnovowels!The
Hebrewwordforkill,murder,injure,doinjusticetoareallthesame.Soaverseassimpleas
"ThouShaltNotKill"isprobablytranslatedinaccuratelybecausewekillallthetime.Wekillto
defendourselves,ourlovedones,ourcountryamorelikelytranslationofthatisThouShaltNot
Murder.

Theversesthatseemtocondemnhomosexualitymayhavesimilarproblems.Howmuchofwhatis
writteniscondemningpromiscuous&irresponsiblesexandnothomosexualityingeneralsvery
difficulttopinpoint.Howmuchisculturalorsocietalisdifficulttopinpoint.Andhowmuchisthe
opinionoftheauthorandhowmuchisGodthat'salsodifficulttopinpoint.Wehavetoremember
thattheOldTestamentwritersbelievedthatGodrequiredanimalstobesacrificedtohimthat
seemsalittlebarbaric,doesn'tit?

I'mnotadvocatinganirresponsible"dowhateveryouwant"spiritualperspective.Thegreat
ChinesephilosopherConfuciusgaveusabrilliantstartingpointwhenhetoldus"nottodotoothers
whatwewouldn'twantdonetous."Iwouldn'twantyoutokickmesoIwon'tkickyou.Iwouldn't
wantyoutostealfrommesoIwon'tstealfromyou.Iwouldn'twantyoutolieaboutyourfeelings
formesoIwon'tlieaboutmyfeelingsforyou.Iwouldn'twantyoutosaysomethingmeantome
soIwon'tsaysomethingmeantoyou.ThisGoldenRuleshowsusaneasywaytorespectothers
andtoestablishmoralboundaries.

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6/10/2016 EmptyClosetsReligionandHomosexuality

BeingGayandRomanCatholic
It'samatterofRomanCatholicdoctrinethatJesusChristwasanacceptablesacrificeforthesins
ofallpeoplewholiveacommittedlifeinservinghim.ItistaughtthatChristbroughtgraceinto
theworldthatgracehastheredemptivepowertotakeawayoursinspermanentlyandputusin
harmonywithGodforever.Wedonothavetobeperfectorsinlesstobeinthisstateofgrace.
ThereisnodoubtthattheChurchteachesthatgraceislargeenoughtoforgiveevengrievoussins.

TheRomanCatholicChurchteachesthatbeingactivelygayisasin.Butitalsoteachesthat
masturbationisasin.ItusedtoteachthateatingmeatonFridaywasasin.Sosinisdefinitelya
forgiveableoffense.AccordingtoRomanCatholicdoctrine,therearetwotypesofactualsin:
mortalsinandvenialsin.Amortalsinisagrievoussinthattakesawaysavinggrace.Avenialsin
isalessersinthatlessensourclosenesstoGod.

TheRomanCatholicChurchfurtheraddsthatourintentionsplayanimportantroleinwhether
somethingisasinandwhetherthatsinismortalorvenial.Ourlawssomewhatmirrorthepostion
oftheChurchonthatwhetherwekillsomebodyin1stdegreeor2nddegreemakesnodifference
inhowdeadtheyare.Butsentencingismuchharsherifit'sbelievedthatapersonintendedfrom
thebeginningtokillanotherperson.

Soifyourattitudeis,"IknowbeinggayiswrongandthatitoffendsGodbutI'mgoingtodoit
anyway"thatfallsintothecategoryofsin.Ifyourattitudeis,"IknowwhattheChurchteaches
andIrespectthatbutIseeitasbeingareflectionofwhoIamandseenowronginitforme"I
wouldseriouslydoubtthere'sanysininvolvedatall.

TheChurchbelievesthatithastherighttospeakforGodingenerallycondemningcertainactions.
ItbelievesitcansaythathomosexualityasageneralruledefiesthewillofGod.But...andthisis
veryimportant...ifyouhonestlyandsincerelyseenowronginsomethingyourindividual
consciencethroughgraceabsolvesyouofanypunishmentfromGod.

WhywouldGodpunishsomebodyfordoingsomethingtheyseenowronginandveryimportant
thatdoesn'thurtanybody?

Oursociety(mostlythroughthechurch)iswonderfulatcreatingguiltandshameinpeopleasit
relatestotheirsexuality.Butunlessthatshameisaninwardfeelingwhereonetrulybelieves
they'redoingwrongthere'snoguiltassociatedwiththesin.Inotherwords,unlessyoureally
believeyourhomosexualityisaterriblewrongyourcontinuingtobegaywouldbenomore
grievousthanoccasionallylying.

Forthoseofyouwhoaresingle,safesexhomosexualactsarelesslikelytobesinfulbecausethey
don'tgoagainstanoaththatyoutookorcauseyoutobecheatingonaspouse.

ThesecrettobeingCatholicandgayistocometotermswithityourself.Don'tdothingsyouknow
tobewrong.ContinueyourwalkwithChristwiththesamesincerityandgenuinenessyou've
alwayshad.Don'tletthejudgmentsofotherseffectyourfaith.

I'mnotsureI'veexplainedthisverywellandI'mquitepositivethatnotallCatholictheologians
acceptthisparticularinterpretation.But...thisisapostionthatisheldbysomeCatholic
theologiansandonethatmakessensetome.

QuestionsandAnswers
Itisasadbuttruefactthatintolerantreligiousbeliefsarethegenesisofmostofthehatredand
discriminationagainstgayandlesbians.Unfortunately,intoleranceisadifficultobstacleto
overcomebecauseitissobasictoman'snature.Ratherthangointoadetailedhistoryofreligion's
relationshipwithhomosexualityletmedothisinaquestionandanswerformatthatwillmakeit
easierforyoutogetsomethingusefulfromhere:

1)WhyisChristianitysoantigay?

ChristianityevolvedoutoftheJewishreligion.JesushimselfwasJewish,alltheApostleswere
JewishChristianityadoptedtheJewishbible(theOldTestament)eventhoughJesusisbelievedby
Christian'stobethefulfillmentoftheJewishlawandtheNewTestamentisabetterreflectionof
thethingsheemphasizedlove,forgiveness,andbrotherhood.Therearejustenoughversesin
theOldTestamentthatareantigaytohavemovedPaul,whowrote13ofthe27booksintheNew
Testament,tofeelthatbeinggaywasinconsistentwithbeingaChristian.

AlthoughJesustaughttoleranceandloveandneverevenspecificallymentionedhomosexuality,
theChristianChurchhasn'tdoneagreatjoboffollowinghisleadandhasacceptedPaul'sviewas
beingcorrect.

2)Isthereabundantevidencethathomosexualityiswrong?

Jesustaughtadoctrinethatasksustobecreativelycaringtowardsothers.Thatdoesn'tmeanwe
havetogiveupourowngoalsanddreamsandspendalloursparetimeintheserviceofothers.
Butitdoesmeanwehavetorespecttherightsofothers,toavoidbeingintentionallyorcarelessly
hurtfulitpreventsusfromtakingadvantageofothers,frombeingmeanspiritedorfrombeing
viciouswithotherpeople.

Sobeinggayisn'teverreallyanissueaccordingtotheteachingsofChrist.Cheatingonyour
partneriswrongnotbecauseyou'regaybutbecauseyou'recheatingonyourpartner.

3)DoesChristianityallowforsomeonetobegay?

CertaindenominationswithinChristianityevolvedmorefromthedoctrinesofPaulthanfromthe
doctrinesofJesusandthusseehomosexualityassin.Thesedenominationsusuallyplaceagreat
dealofemphasisonthebibleasbeing"God'sWord"andlessonJesusasbeing"God'sWord."In
John1:1itsays,"InthebeginningwastheWord,andtheWordwaswithGod,andtheWordwas
God."InJohn114,itclarifiesthatbyadding,"TheWordbecamefleshandmadehisdwelling
amongus.Wehaveseenhisglory,thegloryoftheOneandOnly,whocamefromtheFather,full
ofgraceandtruth."

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6/10/2016 EmptyClosetsReligionandHomosexuality

ThebiblehasmanyteachingsthatemphasizethatLoveisthecentralwaywefollowChrist.To
acceptthefewversesthatPaulwrotethatseemtopointafingerathomosexualityrequiresoneto
rejecttheteachingsthatwouldseemtomakeitirrelevant.Ifwe'reforgiveninaccordancewith
howweforgiveothersasJesustaughtbeinggayisfarlessofaproblemtoone'sspiritualwalk
thanbeingjudgmental.

4)WhydosomanyChristianshatehomosexuals?

TheyareneverChristianswhoplaceanemphasisonChristianlove.Believinginjusticetotoo
greatanextentcanmakeapersonunbalanced.Ifyousomehowfeelyouhavetherighttobeat
someoneuporeventodiscriminateagainstthemyou'reobviouslynotwalkinginthethingsthat
Christtaught.ManyChristianshonestlybelievehomosexualityisimmoral.Myadviceistoaccept
thatastheirright.Beopentodialogwiththem.Challengethemateveryopportunity.But
rememberthatdisagreeingdoesn'tmeantohate.Unlesstheyhaveanattitudeofhatefulnessit's
notaterriblethingmerelyapointofignorancethathasterribleconsequencesforgayrights.So
tryandchangetheirperspectivebutdon'tmistakethemforthosewhoarehateful.

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